Yep, you read that right. “Evangelicals and Eating Disorders.” That’s what I’m writing about today.
Rachel Stone just rocked my world with her post “How Patriarchy Gave Me an Eating Disorder.” I didn’t quite have the courage to share it on my Facebook wall without a little bit of context, but can I just say that her points are worthy of some SERIOUS consideration? Even if you don’t agree with everything she says, can you see how some girls could see it the way she is describing?
I know I did. (Have I not mentioned that I used to struggle with a great love of not eating? I feel stupid talking about it, because it wasn’t full-blown anorexia, not some life-or-death drama like you’d see on Lifetime TV–just enough to keep me weak and fuzzy-headed, for many of the reasons Rachel mentioned. To this day I can’t/won’t do diets–I tried it once shortly after my second son was born, and can you say RELAPSE?) Of course, what Rachel wrote wasn’t exactly my experience, but it resonated. More than anything else I’ve read on the topic.
Be pure. (Developing a figure = males might lust after you = there’s something shameful about your body = how about I just wear baggy clothes and stay pre-adolescent? Plus, I’d really prefer to only consume organically-grown vegetables–no sugar, no meat, no anything…)
Be pretty. (Yeah, evangelicals are kind of obsessed with this one. Beauty, beauty, beauty–in our homes, on our faces, on our bodies. Women are supposed to be pleasing–just not so much that we make anyone we are not married to lust after us.)
Be passive. (I’m sick. I’m tired and weak. I need to be rescued.)
Be perfect. (‘Nuff said?)
Anyway, give Rachel a hearing. I’m anxious to hear what she has to say next.
Oh! And I’m about halfway through “Unsqueezed” by my fellow Redbud Margot Starbuck. (Required reading for school keeps requiring my attention, which is why “Unsqueezed” is only half-read.) It’s a FABULOUS book, and if you can relate to this post in any way, you should totally buy it.